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Leave it all on the field.

I ran the Skirt Chaser 5K on Saturday. As I crossed the finish line, I thought to myself, "I should have run harder." Don’t get me wrong, my leg muscles were in anaerobic land and my lungs were struggling to efficiently exchange gasses, but I had something left in me that I should have used up. I should have run harder. My second though was, "My whole week has been like this."

Many times last week I thought to myself, "Why didn’t I get more done yesterday?" Yeah, I know, I got a lot done last week, but I could have done more. I should have run harder. Why didn’t I?

There’s the fear excuse: If I run hard or get this crazy amount done, it will be expected of me all the time (by me, by others, but mostly by me) and I don’t think I can or I don’t want to do this amount all the time.

There’s the marker excuse: I didn’t see the mile marker or didn’t know all that was going to be expected of me, so I didn’t pace myself properly.

Both are bad excuses. Both keep me from being a stronger runner, having a stronger writing career.  Every-so-often, there’s a controversy in ultimate frisbee when one team doesn’t hear the time cap horn. "We didn’t hear the horn; we would have played differently." And the right counter argument is, "You should have been playing your hardest no matter what the score or how much game is left. You should be leaving it all on the field."

That’s how I should be working. It’s not a comfortable mindset, but I won’t die if I run my hardest, and I won’t run out of work, ever.